The Stone quarries in the Lebanese village of Ain Dara where a giant cement factory was proposed to be built and the stone crushing panty were ordered to be shut down by Judge Ghada Aoun. She made the decision after finding out that the owner Pierre Fattouche, a discreet business tycoon with interests across several countries including Armenia and South Sudan, did not obtain a license.
This development comes after the local residents rejected the construction massive cement factory that was supposed to export its products to Syria.
Some reports indicated that Fattouche was working on behalf Maher al Assad, brother of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad and his relatives.
After eight years of civil war, more than a third of Syria’s infrastructure has been destroyed. Assad said last year that reconstruction would cost between $250 – $450bn.
The Ain Dara residents say the factory, expected to produce about 3 million tonnes of cement a year, would harm underground water reserves and pollute the air.
Lebanon and Syria have a complicated love-hate relationship. Lebanese politicians who side with Damascus argue that their country needs strong ties with its more influential neighbour. Their opponents accuse the Assad regime of human-rights violations and of meddling in Lebanese politics. In 2005, Syria withdrew its troops from Lebanon after 29 years of occupation following allegations of involvement in the assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri.
Lebanon’s politician, Walid Jumblatt, is a fierce critic of the Syrian regime and of Fattouche. He calls the
quarries and the cement factory project an “environmental crime” and accuses the tycoon of pursuing Assad interests in Lebanon.
According to environmental experts , Ain Dara , the beautiful tiny village in the Shouf District of MT Lebanon is surrounded by a pine forest . The scene of the stone quarries and crushing plant have done tremendous damage to its environment , air quality and beauty